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February 6, 2014

Scoliosis is a medical condition that refers to an abnormal curvature of the spine. Most people’s spine are straight up and down from the cervical to sacral region. With scoliosis there is a lateral (side to side) curvature. The side to side curve can be a single “C” or double “S” curve. In a 3 curve (S) scoliosis the shoulder girdle, rib cage and pelvic girdle can be involved. This curvature usually begins or is noticed during the rapid growth phase that occurs with puberty.

The spine does not move in a one dimensional plane, therefore scoliosis will almost always develop in a three-dimensional pattern/distortion. This twisting actually rotates the vertebral bodies of the spine toward the convexity and the spinous process toward the concavity side of the curve. This positioning will require exercises to improve rib breathing and de-rotational exercises to improve alignment. Since scoliosis usually starts with a developing child parents can look for certain signs of one shoulder or hip higher than the other, rib hump, waist looks uneven or the child may favor or lean to one side. If any of these signs are present make an appointment with your MD for an accurate diagnosis. According to the National Scoliosis Foundation, available evidence suggests that exercise is beneficial and can improve breathing, posture, and self-esteem.

If you or your child has scoliosis call one of our many clinics to make an appointment with a Physical Therapist to get started on your individual exercise program to improve your quality of life.

References: National Scoliosis Foundation; Exercise and Adults with Scoliosis and Exercise for Adolescents Otman S., Kose N, and Yakut Y. (2005). The efficacy of Schroth’s 3-dimensional exercise therapy in the treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis in Turkey. Saudi Medical Journal, 9, 1429-1435.

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